Many men, according to research, avoid medical exams. This is understandable, of course. What’s to like about a medical exam? But medical exams can reveal problems when they are still manageable and something can be done about them. Taking the approach of waiting for something serious to happen before visiting your doctor doesn’t really make sense. Why not keep up-to-date with where you’re at as far as your health is concerned? That way, you can be proactive about any problems that show up at a doctor’s exam. You’ll have choices about what you want to do and you’ll be able to decide how best to protect your health so that you can enjoy life to the fullest.
With that in mind, here are six tests you should consider getting on a regular basis.
1. Get an Eye Exam
According to the American Optometric Association, the average adult man 60 years or younger should have an eye exam every two to three years. After age 60, you’ll probably want to have your eyes checked every year.
2. Get Your Blood Pressure Checked
Getting your blood pressure checked is a simple procedure. The doctor places an inflatable cuff around your arm and then can detect high blood pressure. Knowing if you have high blood pressure before complications such as heart attack and stroke occur is definitely the best way to go. Doctors recommend that, once a man reaches the age of 18, he should have his blood pressure checked — it’s as simple as that.
3. Have a Cholesterol Test Done
A cholesterol blood test, including total cholesterol, LDL “bad” cholesterol, and HDL “good” cholesterol, can help to evaluate your risk for getting heart disease. Beginning at age 20, you should be tested every five years — assuming that your results are within desirable ranges — according to the National Cholesterol Education Program. As you get older, you should test your levels more frequently just to be aware of any changes.
4. Get a Colon Exam
Most men don’t think about getting their colons examined. But your colon is susceptible to disease just like other parts of your body, and you’ll want someone to check up on it from time to time. Doctors use a variety of tests to look for growths inside the colon that shouldn’t be there. Screening typically begins at age 50, but may begin earlier if there is a family history of colon cancer.
5. Get a Prostate Exam
There is a lot of disagreement among different organizations about the benefits of testing for early prostate cancer. The American College of Preventative Medicine recommends that men should get information about prostate cancer testing and make an individual decision with the help of their doctor. The American Cancer Society says that men age 50 or older with a life expectancy of greater than 10 years should get both the PSA blood test and the rectal exam.
6. Get a Testicular Exam
Testicular cancer is an entirely different matter from prostate cancer Testicular cancer, the most common malignancy among American men between the ages of 15 and 35, is usually curable, especially when detected early. Doctors agree on this one at least: the testicular exam to look for cancer should be part of every physical examination by a doctor.